Proton Satria Neo (2008)
Proton Satria Neo
With a sleek design and an impressive CamPro 16v engine, the Proton Satria Neo is all about energy, style and excitement. Superb ride and handling comes courtesy of Proton's sister company, Lotus, helping to deliver a car that boasts high speed stability, great manoeuvrability and superior control. Customers in the market for a stylish, fun and exciting drive which is also practical and affordable, need look no further than the Satria Neo.
The Satria Neo - a Proton through and through
Proton believes that driving should be fun and that every one of its cars should deliver superb ride and handling. Progressive technology is evident across the range - not just in performance but in safety measures and standard equipment. The Proton Satria Neo continues this tradition of offering everything motorists have come to expect from a Proton - and more.
The Satria Neo highlights Proton Cars' commitment to delivering a value-added product to customers. This is a car that enjoys Proton's rock solid reliability and the magical Lotus touch - a 3-door supermini with superb design, ride and handling. The Proton Satria Neo is an energetic addition to the existing Proton line-up, which includes the 5-door city car the Savvy, the Lotus developed 5-door GEN-2 hatchback, 4-door Impian saloon and the new 4-door Proton GEN-2 Persona.
Speaking at the launch of the Proton Satria Neo in Malaysia, Managing Director of Proton Bhd, Syed Zainal Abidin Syed Mohamed Tahir said "The Proton Satria Neo exudes energy and style. It retains the Satria's classic appeal, while adding the enhanced ride and handling you'd expect from a car like the iconic GTi." He added, "We know customers have been waiting for the new model and they will not be disappointed."
Proton Cars UK Managing Director, Brian Collier said "The Satria Neo gives new and existing customers the trusted Proton reliability, combined with sleek Lotus design and smooth ride and handling, all accompanied by our reputable customer service."
Lotus - adding punch and finesse to the Proton Satria Neo
Continuing the outstanding performance and winning characteristics of its predecessor, the Satria Neo also benefits from the engineering and development input of its sister company Lotus. The result is a car with improved handling, performance and style - both inside and out. It takes the Proton 3-door into a new generation.
When the design team at Proton first conceived the Proton Satria Neo, the aim was to create an elegant and sophisticated 3-door hatchback that retained the strong elements that made the original Satria so popular and successful. From the original brief developed with Lotus, the initial concepts, renderings, clay models and external surfaces were developed at the Lotus Design Centre based at Hethel in Norfolk. Following this, the feasibility design for BIW, trim, chassis, electrical and vehicle development planning was also completed in the UK. The detailed design through to production build was completed by Lotus Engineering working alongside Proton engineers at the new state-of-the-art Tanjung Malim Plant at Proton City in Malaysia.
Simon Wood, Engineering Director at Group Lotus Plc said: "I am proud of the Satria Neo, it embodies those aspects held as important by Lotus; striking design, dynamic performance and driver enjoyment."
Thanks to the expertise and experience of both sets of engineers, the resulting car exceeds its original brief. It is bold, stylish and desirable, with a sculpted front hood, stylish front grille, detailed front and rear bumpers, sporty „tiger-eye' projector headlamps and its sweeping silhouette all adding to a graceful, feline impression.
The Proton Satria Neo has a brand new platform, which has been designed to the same dimensions as the original Satria GTi, to give extra space inside and improved vehicle dynamics. In addition, the front and rear track have been extended to 1470mm. The length of the vehicle is now 3905mm with a wheelbase of 2440mm and width and height of 1710mm and 1420mm respectively.
The Proton Satria Neo features a centrally mounted 45-litre fuel tank beneath the floor which offers excellent protection in the event of an accident and also improving both passenger and load space, with a luggage area volume of 286 litres (0.286 cu m) with the rear seats up and a volume of 615 litres (0.615 cu m) with the seats down.
The Proton Satria Neo aims for superior NVH characteristics which make the driving experience comfortable for occupants without eliminating the sporty engine noise. The design of the exterior is low, sporty and road-hugging. When combined with the sleek aerodynamic profile, the Proton Satria Neo delivers low wind resistance, good high speed manoeuvrability, vehicle stability and control.
The exhaust system is tuned to reduce unwanted internal noise and vibration whilst maintaining a "sporty" sound. In addition, Powertrain mountings were modified from the existing four point to three point Neutral Torque Axis system to give improved passenger NVH. The developments have given a result of 72dBA at a cruising speed, which puts the Satria Neo at similar levels to the competition.
Stylish and contemporary, the one piece integrated rear combination lamp ensures maximum brightness and a sporty look. A multi-focal inner reflector boosts rear visibility and enhances safety while driving and an amber inner filter is integrated with turn signal reflector. All Satria Neo models have halogen headlamps with semi-automatic levelling as standard.
The modern, minimalist interior of the Proton Satria Neo takes its cue from Lotus. A clean, and contemporary layout creates a sporty, sophisticated feel, while the spacious cabin environment provides maximum comfort to enhance the entire driving experience.
Dashboard and instruments
The Satria Neo's dashboard fascia has its roots in the GEN-2 scheme but has added finishing touches including soothing amber and blue display and a new tempest grey interior colour scheme. The blue dials ensure that the display is clear but non-intrusive and does not distract the driver, particularly at night. All GSX models have an instrument panel dimmer so drivers can select their own brightness settings. All the important information is clearly laid out so drivers need only take their eyes from the road momentarily to get key information. The centrally located digital trip computer incorporates distance to refuelling, journey length and average fuel consumption. All major warning indicators are easily located, including the seatbelt warning and door ajar warning lights.
The materials chosen for the upper dashboard were selected for their low reflectivity, to reduce the glare from the road. The lower materials have been chosen for their durability. There are fabric inserts in the door panels and the A, B and C pillars are covered with a grain plastic.
The Proton Satria Neo has a redesigned three spoke steering wheel with volume and mute controls for the radio/CD player on the left hand side and skip, search and mode controls on the right. The steering wheel has been positioned at a new angle which has increased driver legroom to 930mm from the hip pivot point. The steering wheel is also height adjustable for added convenience.
Body hugging bucket seats in the front give the driver and the passenger better grip and a fully secured driving feel. The driver's seat is height, tilt and slide adjustable for optimum comfort and the passenger seat has a memory function which automatically puts it back to its original position after being moved forward to allow access for rear passengers.
Luggage and storage
There are ample storage compartments around the cabin including a front glove box, side pockets in the front doors, rear map pockets in the front seats and two conveniently located double cup holders behind the handbrake. There are two small compartments located to the left and right of the audio system which can be used for holding wallets, purses, MP3 players etc.
The 60:40 split folding rear seats provide a versatile load area in the rear of the car with no need to remove the headrests before folding them flat against the front seats to create a large load area for extra luggage, suitcases, shopping etc. With the rear seats up, the storage space in the boot totals 286 litres (0.286 cu m) and with the seats down this increases to 615 litres (0.615 cu m).
All models are fitted with an air conditioning system with pollen filter and have climate control as standard. The familiar vertically stacked heating controls, following the style seen in the GEN-2, are again situated conveniently by the gear lever and complement the simplistic, minimalist and sporty look and feel.
The automatic model has automatic cruise control as standard, which is unusual on a car of this price range. This enables the driver to set their own constant speed. Controls for this are located on the steering column on the right hand side.
Additional practical considerations are in abundance. The Proton Satria Neo is equipped with centrally located and illuminated power window switches, side mirror adjusters, centre mounted clock, sun visor with vanity mirror on passenger and driver side which also incorporates a ticket holder, front and rear door side armrests and a 12V power socket.
In-car entertainment comes in the form of a stylish unit which complements the sporty look and feel. Each Proton Satria Neo variant is fitted with a Blaupunkt radio with RDS and CD player compatible with both CDRW and MP3 CDs, in addition to standard CD formats. This integrated unit is only compatible with the Proton Satria Neo so cannot be stolen and used in another vehicle.
Models can be equipped with a hands free telephone based on Bluetooth technology. A four way speaker system provides for better sound distribution around the cabin.
Engines and Transmissions
The Proton Satria Neo is available with a 1.6 litre 16v Lotus developed CamPro engine, with a choice of a 5-speed manual transmission or a four-speed automatic gearbox. Although it shares the same engine and transmission with the GEN-2, the Satria Neo has a new lower final drive ratio, giving it better low to medium speed acceleration and smooth torque and power delivery.
Underneath its compact, streamlined exterior is a CamPro 4-cylinder 16v Multi-Point Injection engine developed in collaboration with Lotus. As you'd expect from a company that designs and builds high performance cars, this is an engine that packs a serious punch; delivering a max speed of up to 118mph, with 111bhp and 109lb/ft of torque.
It's also built to last. The CamPro has been tested over 1.2 million kilometres and has spent an additional 27,000 hours on the dyno. And with its lower weight and expert tuning and balance, the Proton Satria Neo also offers excellent responsiveness.
A key strength that Proton has acquired through their relationship with Lotus is the ability to maximise ride and handling through total integrated body tuning and balancing; this combines to give a fun and exciting drive and translates into the Neo having excellent steering, manoeuvrability, cornering and handling capabilities that can be easily distinguished in terms of cornering speeds and high-speed stability.
Extensive ride and handling development was conducted by Lotus Engineering during all the initial phases of the project, and production vehicles were also tested to ensure that the Lotus chassis dynamics philosophy was incorporated fully in the Proton Satria Neo.
Good ride and handling not only makes a car more enjoyable to drive, it also improves safety by giving an accurate and instant response to driver actions. Few cars achieve good levels of both. Usually better handling means less ride comfort and vice versa. The Satria Neo has been designed to optimise both elements.
The wider track and low stance of the Proton Satria Neo plays a large part in the cornering ability of the vehicle, together with the MacPherson strut technology which is tuned for precise steering response and good handling, cornering and lane changing, all with acceptable rolling comfort. Also at the front there are vertically mounted bushes on the lower arm which give high lateral compliance with a softer vertical movement for increased comfort and stability. The front sub-frame has a new cross member design which gives high rigidity and improved vehicle handling.
To improve the handling still further the Proton Satria Neo has a multi-link system with recalibrated shock absorber damping and spring rates. At the rear the stabiliser bar has been positioned to improve body control and the upper link is designed, through its strength, to give better lateral rigidity.
The foundation of good ride and handling lies in the structural integrity of the car body - the Satria Neo's strong body shell is designed to be stiff in the correct areas and offer impact absorbance in the crumple zones. This in turn also improves safety by ensuring occupants are both cushioned and protected.
All Proton Satria Neo models are equipped with an ABS with EBD for optimum performance. In addition, all models have brake discs all round, with 270mm ventilated at the front and 280mm solid at the rear.
The Proton Satria Neo has 16 inch turbine style handed alloy wheels with 195/50R16 88V Continental Sport tyres.
Despite the Satria Neo being larger than the original Satria range, Proton has reduced the vehicle's turning circle to just 10.2m (33.5ft) which has helped enhance around-town driveability and manoeuvrability.
Safety is a priority for Proton, who provide drivers with a range of equipment to help to prevent an accident and protect in the event of a collision. The Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) and Electronic Brake Distribution (EBS) deliver controlled, safer braking in adverse weather conditions.
Proton aims to offer both „active' and „passive' safety and the Proton Satria Neo does just this.
Active safety is achieved through good vehicle control, helping to avoid accidents. The Lotus input into the chassis and suspension development ensures the Proton Satria Neo has excellent handling, accurate steering and stable braking. The precision feedback and responsiveness of the steering, handling and braking ensure maximum control when on the road.
Passive safety, the minimisation of injuries in the event of an accident, has always been important at Proton and the Satria Neo has several new safety features to support this. Here Proton focuses on passenger protection through built-in crumple zones, strong cabin rigidity and additional energy absorbance technology. This includes dual, double-impact trapezoidal bars in the doors, which work together with a side sill catcher to improve protection and prevent the door from moving into the cabin in the event of a side impact.
The Proton Satria Neo is built using a new platform to improve body rigidity and subsequent crash performance. Computer aided engineering methods were employed to establish initial internal targets for vehicle structural performance and chassis dynamics, with correlation and verification during the development programme. Body torsion and bending targets were increased over the original Satria model to improve the body structural characteristics and therefore safety. Proton has used high tensile strength steel at all the key structural members and has reinforced the front side structure and the dash panel cross member. Results from the 64km/h frontal crash testing were reassuring as were the side impact and stationary pole crash tests.
It also utilises passenger restraint systems to reduce injuries from secondary impact. The Satria Neo has three independent rear headrests for improved safety for rear passengers and adjustable front headrests across the range help protect against whiplash injury in the event of an accident. In addition the driver's seatbelt is linked to an audible warning system which reminds the driver to fasten their seatbelt. Both front seatbelts have pre-tensioners to maintain the belt force at a controlled level and ensure passengers are held in place in an impact. There are dual airbags fitted as standard across the entire Proton Satria Neo range and additional features include a collapsible steering column and a pedal intrusion system, both of which help prevent penetration into the cabin during a frontal impact. The rear seats have been designed to withstand impact from luggage thrown against the back seat and therefore against rear passengers, in the event of a rear collision.
Both front seats have anti-submarine features, which ensure that in the event of a frontal collision, occupants do not slide underneath the seatbelt.
All passive safety systems have been tuned for optimal timing to reduce risk of injury.
The Satria Neo comes with an integrated alarm system and an immobiliser with a unique encoded transponder. The three stage security system minimises the risk of vehicle theft by means of hot wire or duplication of keys, providing protection from theft.
The door locking system is fitted with a free rolling key cylinder as a theft deterrent. If an intruder uses an unmatched key or attempts a forced entry on the key cylinder with a foreign object, the lock will roll freely to prevent opening. Should a window be broken, the combination of the immobiliser and ignition lock protection will ensure that the ignition system is protected and the car cannot be driven.
All security features in the Neo also conform to strict Thatcham safety and security standards.
All new Proton Satria Neo vehicles, like other models in the Proton range, are automatically added to the International Security Register (ISR) reducing the risk of theft and resale. A single call to the ISR's 24 hour helpline enables a prospective buyer to confirm a vehicle's credentials. In addition to this, the Satria Neo also has a visible VIN plate on the dashboard.